PASS SB 1052 -- THE MIRANDA RIGHTS FOR YOUTH BILL
In California, children -- no matter how young -- can waive their rights.
A recent appellate court opinion held that a 10-year old made a voluntary, knowing, and intelligent waiver of his Miranda rights. When the police asked if he understood the right to remain silent, he had replied, "Yes, that means that I have the right so stay calm." We think that if you don't understand what your rights are, you shouldn't be able to give them up.
In San Jose, we at De-Bug have seen firsthand how traumatizing and jolting the experiences of young people have been who have been interrogated by the police. Oftentimes, they are pulled out of school and then taken to a station where they are ‘talked to. When their parents are notified, parents are often told they couldn’t see their children. In one instance, a fifteen year old child was pulled out of school without his mother being notified, and even after this child asked for his mother. He was then interrogated for several hours and made a false confession to a strong arm robbery. What complicated this case even more was that this 15 year old had struggled with mental disability ever since he was born. His developmental issues were serious enough to require 24 hour supervision. He could not verbalize much due to a speech impairment, which makes the notion of an ‘admission’ even more ridiculous.
Senate Bill 1052 would ensure children and youth understand their rights.
SB 1052, authored by Senator Ricardo Lara, would require youth be given the chance to consult with legal counsel before they waiver their constitutional rights in a situation of custodial interrogation by the police. The bill also provides guidance for courts in determining whether a youth's Miranda waiver was made in a voluntary, knowing, and intelligent manner as required under existing law.
- You Have the Right to Remain Silent -- California Bill Strengthening Miranda Rights for Kids
- What it Was Like When My Child Was Interrogated by Police
TIMELINE AND STATUS:
February 2016: SB 1052 is first introduced to the Legislature
April 19, 2016: SB 1052 set for first hearing in the Senate's Public Safety Committee in Sacramento, CA
August 23, 2016: SB 1052 passes State Assembly with a vote margin of 50 to 28.
CAMPAIGN STATUS: Will Continue into 2017
Though the campaign to protect Miranda rights for youth was successful in passing the California state senate and assembly, it was vetoed by Governor Brown. But the support from the legislature is indicative that the victory is inevitable. We will continue to work families, lawyers, and advocates across the state to get the legislation back on the Governor's desk to approve in 2017.